MSF launches diabetes diagnosis at Chipinge clinics
Ellen Mlambo/ Patience Magora
CHIPINGE- Medecins Sans Frontieres, (MSF) has handed over a project described as a milestone in which quality service and diagnosis of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension is now done by nurses at local rural clinics.
The five-year project which saw 40 nurses being trained has a major impact on rural people as they now no longer face the burden of travelling to hospitals for such services.
MSF, an international humanitarian NGO handed over the project to the Ministry of Health and Child Care during the commemoration of the World Diabetes Day at Chipinge District Hospital on Friday last week. The theme of the World Diabetes Day this year is “Diabetes: nurses make the difference”.
The nurses who are from 11 health facilities in Chipinge District were trained in the provision of quality diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of diabetes and hypertension. The project ran for five years and there are more than 3 000 diabetes and hypertension patients who benefitted from it.
The project has seen the decentralization of such services with diabetes and hypertension now being diagnosed at primary health care centres thereby reducing the burden on patients to travel to hospitals.
In addition, MSF has also renovated some facilities to cope with increased numbers of patients and the need for more space to store medicines.
MSF Country Representative, Dr Reinaldo Ortuno described the development as a major milestone in rural health service provision.
“Today we celebrate the milestone achieved by the nurse-led diabetes and hypertension model of care implemented in a rural context in Manicaland. We are also handing over a program of successful partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Manicaland province in this program.
“The International Diabetes Federation estimates 463 million adults worldwide (2019 estimates) are living with diabetes and more than 1,1 million children have type 1 diabetes. It is further estimated that by 2045, 700 million people will be living with diabetes…sadly, we have also witnessed that the effect of Covid 19 disease is far higher in NCD patients, particularly diabetes,” he added.
Among other objectives the project seeks to show that nurses are able to diagnose and to manage diabetes and hypertension using simplified and standardized guidelines. It also seeks to increase access to quality diabetes and hypertension healthcare services, to make these services including medicines and insulin available and affordable to the local population and to show that the patients, with sufficient support from health providers can largely take care of themselves at their homes said Dr Ortuno. Nisbert Mukumbi, a Doctor in the project with MSF based in Chipinge said the purpose of the project is to reduce deaths from NCDs.
Chipinge Central MP Raymore Machingura appreciated MSF for the NCD project.